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5 simple tricks to make the treadmill less terrible

Different runner's tried-and-true tricks to avoid the treadmill blues

A better treadmill

It’s officially treadmill season in Canada, which means that runners across the great north are looking for ways to improve their experience on the indoor conveyor belt.

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Matt Hughes is the Canadian record-holder in the steeplechase who recently relocated from Portland back to Toronto. As Hughes adjusts to the harsher Canadian winters, he’s also accepting that the treadmill is part of training like a Canuck. Hughes reached out to Twitter for advice on how to make his indoor miles more palatable and he got some great responses from many different kinds of runners.

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Adjust the grade

Reid Coolsaet, one of Canada’s fastest-ever marathoners, recommends that runners adjust the grade while running to break up the workout.

Don’t look at the time and distance

A treadmill minute can sometimes feel like an hour. Scott Olberding recommends putting a towel over the distance and time markers and binge-watching your favourite show.

Wear a lighter shoe


Wearing a lighter shoe, like your lighter trainers or racing flats, can help runners avoid the clunky feeling that can come from treadmill runs.

Play with your speed

If you’ve got a steady long run on the docket, play with your treadmill speed the same way your speed would naturally fluctuate on the road or trails.

Watch race videos

Training through the winter months for a spring race can cause a runner’s interest to wane. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to hop on the treadmill, put on either a video recap from your goal race, or a race that one of your running idols crushed–this can help you find the motivation you need.